Thursday January 31, 2013

I am shocked that three years after funding an addition on Benn El and five years after closing Catamount we are being asked for another multi-million dollar bond. This new bond in addition to our BSD and SVSU budgets going up 20 percent will raise a typical tax bill hundreds of dollars a year. I know that as a taxpayer I have seen my tax bill nearly double over the last 15 years. We were told that because of a declining population and lower enrollments we could close Catamount and still have enough space for all of Bennington’s children and even the sixth grades for other towns in the remaining buildings. How could this information be so incorrect? Why should we believe the projections now?

Why isn’t there more discussion about sending Bennington fifth graders to the middle school? I read today that there will be a shortage of five classrooms projected at the peak in 2015. Bennington has five fifth grades that could easily be moved to make space without another bond and increased tax burden. We could easily take a vote and make arrangements before the 2015 school year. Both of my children went to the sixth grade at the Middle School and loved it. The faculty and staff at the Middle School do an excellent job in a fantastic facility. Why spend unnecessarily to add on to an old building? Why spend for another architecture firm to draw up plans we don’t need?

It’s time to start using some common sense in Bennington. Let’s use what we have instead of borrowing more money. Can Central Office and the School Boards hear me? Please let them know if you also agree.

JOE PRANDINI

Bennington

Supports Death with Dignity bill

I support the budding Death with Dignity bill to be considered by the Vermont Legislature and more especially our local legislators Mr. Sears and Mr. Heartwell.

Since my teenage years, I have been in charge of my own destiny. As I approach the twilight of my life, I do not want to give up this right. I want to die as I deem appropriate.

I support Patient Choices Vermont as it advocates for my personal choice about end of life issues/ Please visit www.patientchoices.org for more information on this important personal freedom of choice.

DICK BOWER

Bennington